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Rockwave Festival 2010 | © Elias Filis/Flickr
Rockwave Festival 2010 | © Elias Filis/Flickr

7 Festivals Worth Travelling to Greece For

Picture of Ethel Dilouambaka
Updated: 21 November 2017

Every year, Greece is home to a plethora of small and large festivals attracting thousands of participations in every corner of the country. A perfect way to enjoy Greek culture, these festivals cover a variety of themes and activities and will certainly make you see Greece in a different light. Here are the top festivals worth travelling to the country for.

Athens-Epidaurus Festival

For an extensive program of theatrical performances, music and dance, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival is an annual arts festival that incorporates a full program of music, theatre, dance and visual arts events taking place at several venues around Athens, including the Onassis Cultural Centre or the Ancient Agora and in the Theatre of Epidaurus, where classical playwrights’ works are presented. A month-long celebration of art and the country’s cultural heritage, the Athens-Epidaurus Festival certainly ranks high in terms of festivals worth discovering.

Kalamata International Dance Festival

You may not be aware of this, but Greece hosts a fantastic festival for those in love with contemporary dance and art. The unassuming town of Kalamata, in Peloponnese, plays host to an annual dance festival every July, where dancers and dance groups from around the world gather to share their passion with visitors. This is your chance to discover this unique event and even explore the region.

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Courtesy of Kalamata International Dance Festival

Rockwave Festival

One of the biggest music events in the summer, Rockwave Festival is held at Terra Vibe, in Malakasa, near Athens. Internationally known, this rock festival has an impressive line-up of world-renowned artists and bands, including Iron Maiden, Placebo, Deus and Metallica. An annual rendezvous for rock lovers, Rockwave is the perfect excuse to stay in Athens in the summer (just in case you needed one).

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Courtesy of Rockwave Festival

Kastoria River Party

If you are among those who enjoy camping and partying, then you are in luck. River Party happens every year in August at the Nestorio River, near Kastoria. For five days, get ready to enjoy music from artists from Greece and a few from abroad in a party-like event. Enjoy the summer the Greek way, with music, events, camping and refreshing dips in the river, so don’t forget your swimsuit!

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Courtesy of River Party

Thessaloniki International Film Festival

Held every year in November, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival is one of the grandest cinematographic events in Greece. For over 50 years, the festival showcases work by emerging talent from Greece and beyond and welcomes over 70,000 people attending the screenings held around the city.

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Courtesy of Thessaloniki International Film Festival

Kalymnos Climbing Festival

If you think festivals are only about music, arts or food, then it’s time to think again. Kalymnos Climbing Festival is an annual event for climbing enthusiasts. This leading event attracts thousands of climbers from across the globe to the beautiful rocky island of Kalymnos, in the Dodecanese. More than just a competition, the event includes climbing workshops for children and adults, Greek dance lessons, day trips and music performances. If climbing is your jam, then you know what to do.

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Courtesy of Kalymnos Climbing Festival

Athens Open Air Film Festival

The Athens Open Air Film Festival is the film event of the summer where screenings are held at various landmarks and unexpected locations throughout Athens. Squares, pedestrian areas and parks turn into movie theaters for one evening and welcome visitors for free screenings of movies, concerts and other events. Running annually from June to September, the festival is a chance to see Athens from a different perspective.

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Courtesy of AOAFF17 | © Thalia Galanopoulou

Sani Gourmet Festival

Foodies unite! This one is for you. Every summer, sunny Halkidiki is home to the Sani Gourmet Festival, an annual gastronomic event where the finest awarded chefs across Greece and around the world come together to create stellar dishes. Up-and-coming chefs also join the fun to get a chance to surprise and impress participants. For a duration of 10 days, degustation sessions, workshops and wine tastings are held and we can guarantee your tastebuds will thank you.

Cretan Diet Festival

If you are in love with healthy, delicious food then the Cretan Diet Festival is for you. Organized by the Municipality of Rethymno, in Crete, the Cretan Diet Festival is a celebration of Cretan cuisine, where visitors can learn cooking secrets and tips, discover and taste local products and attend live performances. Now, that’s the kind of festival we love…

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Courtesy of Cretan Diet Festival